Glassjaw @ Best Buy Theatre

NEW YORK, NY—Ringing in the official start to 2011, Best Buy Theatre in Times Square hosted (a long awaited) headlining performance by Long Island’s own Glassjaw.

The band had a few other secret shows in October, November and December, and this show came nearly eight years since the release of their last studio album. In spite of these shows, the band’s devoted fanbase, who never cease to amaze, sold out the 3,500 capacity venue. Furthermore, the sell out happened soon after tickets became available—not the night of.

I arrived just a few minutes before Glassjaw performed but knew that These People and Tidal Arms opened the show. It was a mixed crowd, typical for a Glassjaw show, some concertgoers with tattoos, some with baseball hats and others with lip rings.

The bar wasn’t as packed as it usually is at the metal shows I check out at Best Buy Theater, but I guess that’s to be expected from a largely straightedge Glassjaw crowd. The band took the stage to red lights, which stayed that way red for the entire show. It was a bit hard on the eyes and a kind of let down to have those lights on only red. Once in a while, the light guy, who easily could have been my two year old son, turned a few on and off between songs.

And, unfortunately, the lax lighting display seemed to set the tone for a mundane performance from the band. Daryl Palumbo and company took the stage, with just one guitarist and opened the set with a new-ish track, “You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon),” immediately going into the opening track off Worship & Tribute, “Tip Your Bartender.”

The set list consisted predominantly of the usual live tracks off Worship & Tribute; “Stuck Pig,” “Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports” and “Pink Roses.” Palumbo is the only one of the band that actually moved during the show, though it wasn’t the typical energetic Daryl who I’ve seen run around like a chicken without a head. He simply walked from side to side the entire night whilst the guitarist and bassist both stood in the same place. Maybe because it was the day after New Years Eve, and everyone was tired?

They did throw in the older, fan-favorites from their first studio album, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence; “Lovebites & Razorlines” and “Pretty Lush.” They further diversified the performance by adding B-Sides “El Mark” and “Convectuoso” into the mix. After closing off with “Siberian Kiss,” the group came back out on stage for encore announcing they would treat the eager fans by playing four new tracks; “Black Nurse,” “Vanilla Poltergeist Snake,” “Miracles in Inches” and “A Song To Break Up To.”

And interesting night, although Daryl’s energy level seemed subdued in comparison to his usual animated performances. Nevertheless, the music spoke volumes, and fans are still anxiously awaiting the third studio album.